The Weekly Vlog

Why Weigh Vegetables?

May 29, 2024

Julie Harris wrote in with a great question. She said: “Why is it necessary to weigh and measure vegetables in Bright Line Eating? I like to bulk up my portions with vegetables and want to know why that is not part of the fabulous plan.”

For many people, the idea of weighing and measuring vegetables is ludicrous. Dieters may think, “Hey, vegetables are super healthy and there aren’t many calories in them, so why bother to weigh them?” And all that’s true. But that’s not why we do it. There are three reasons we weigh and measure our vegetables at Bright Line Eating.

First and foremost, it gives the mind peace. It signals a clear end to the meal and lets the brain know that the meal is over once the measured portion has been eaten.

For many people, there’s a constant dialogue in our minds that we call food chatter: “Should I eat something more? Is it mealtime yet? How about now? Can I have more of this? Can I grab the bit left on the plate…” and it goes on and on.

When we weigh and measure our food—all of it—we have a finite quantity, and when we’re done eating it, the brain stops the infernal noise that distracts us and makes us focus on our food—and that gives us peace.

Second, many people, unless they weigh their vegetables, won’t eat enough of them. They’ll think they are, but they’re not. The bulk of vegetables is needed to aid chewing, release hormones, provide nutrients, and add fiber to keep the body satiated.

Third, an excessive quantity of food, just the pure bulk of it, is addictive. The bulk of food releases dopamine that results in more eating. Overeating in volume can trigger a binge in some people. You must get enough—but not too much—bulk.

All that said, what if you want to eat more vegetables than the allotted amount in the standard weight loss plan?

In the Boot Camp, we’ve got a library of options, one of which is a plant-based food plan option, with extra vegetables. Specifically, it has four extra ounces of vegetables at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can add more even more than that to your plan if you want, as long as you keep your plan fixed and consistent and weigh and measure it all. If you have an addiction to quantities, it might be too much bulk for you, but you can try to increase the amount of vegetables and see if it works for you.

I’ve been doing this for twenty years, and I can tell you that quantity addiction is the hardest to snuff out. I’m painfully aware, for example, of the size of my apples. I love a big salad, but I’ve recently trimmed back quantities because I don’t want the bulk; I don’t want to be addicted to the quantities.

I scrape my bowl clean in the morning, and I can see that the vestiges of that quantity addiction still live in me. I offer that to you for consideration. As a 10++ on the Susceptibility Scale, I want to be free more than I want that quantity.

I know people in the plant-based community think I’m crazy for weighing vegetables. But their aims are different from mine. They’re helping people get healthy, I’m helping people recover from food addiction—to break free. Julie, you can do what you choose. If you do want to add vegetables to your food plan, you can weigh and measure them and see if it works out for you. There are no Bright Line Eating police, so do what brings you peace.

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

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